Recently, the Union Minister of State for Rural Development has informed in Rajya Sabha about the various steps taken by the government for implementation of the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
About Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY):
- Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) was launched on 11th October 2014
- It aim to translate the comprehensive vision of Mahatma Gandhi about an ideal Indian village into reality, keeping in view the present context.
- Under SAGY, each Member of Parliament adopts a Gram Panchayat and guides its holistic progress giving importance for social development at par with infrastructure.
- The first Adarsh Gram (Model Village) was to be developed by 2016, and two more by 2019.
- From 2019 to 2024, five more Adarsh Grams must be developed by each MP, one each year.
- The MPs would be free to identify a suitable Gram Panchayat for developing Adarsh Gram, other than his/her own village or that of his/her spouse.
- The Ministry of Rural Development has brought out a compilation of 127 Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored and 1806 State Schemes for convergence under SAGY.
- The ‘Adarsh Grams‘ are to become schools of local development and governance, inspiring other Gram Panchayats.
- By involving villagers and leveraging scientific tools, a village development plan is prepared under the leadership of Member of Parliament. The distinct feature of this Yojana is that it is:
- Demand Driven
- Inspired by Society
- Based on People’s Participation
OBJECTIVE OF SAGY?
The main objective of SAGY are:
- To trigger processes which lead to a holistic development of the identified Gram Panchayats
- To substantially improve the standard of living and quality of life of all section of the population through –
- Improved basic amenities
- Higher productivity
- Enhanced human development
- Better livelihood opportunity
- Reduced disparities
- Access to right and entitlements
- Wider social mobilization
- Enriched social capital
- To generate models of local level development and effective local government which can motivate and inspire neighboring Gram Panchayats to learn and adapt
- To nurture the identified Adarsh Grams as schools of local development to train other gram panchayat
In order to achieve these objectives, SAGY would be guided by the following approach:
- Leveraging the leadership, capacity, commitment and energy of the Members of Parliament (MP) to develop model Gram Panchayats
- Engaging with and mobilizing the community for participatory local level development.
- Converging different government programmes and private and voluntary initiatives to achieve comprehensive development in tune with people’s aspirations and local potential.
- Building partnerships with voluntary organisations, co-operatives and academic and research institutions.
- Focusing on outcomes and sustainability.
Activities in an Adarsh Gram
An Adarsh Gram should evolve out of people’s shared vision, using their capacities and available resources to the best extent possible, duly facilitated by the MP, the Gram Panchayat, civil society and the government machinery. Naturally, the elements of an Adarsh Gram would be context specific. However, it is still possible to broadly identify the important activities. They would include:
- Inculcating hygienic behaviour and practices
- Fostering healthy habits including daily exercise and games
- Reducing risk behaviour- alcoholism, smoking, substance abuse, etc.
- Universal access to basic health facilities consisting of health card, medical examination
- Total immunization
- Balancing the sex-ratio
- 100% institutional delivery
- Improving nutrition status for all, with special focus on children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers
- Strong focus on the special needs of Persons with Disability (PWD), especially children and women
- Universal access to education facilities up to Class X and retention
- Conversion of schools into ‘smart schools’. Smart schools will have IT enabled classrooms, e-libraries, web based teaching and will make all students e-literate required for providing quality education
- Adult literacy
- Village libraries including e-libraries
- Activities for promotion of voluntarism like Bharat Nirman Volunteers
- Building the capacity of the people to fully participate and contribute to local development
- Activities for honouring village elders, local role models especially women, freedom fighters and martyrs
- Activities for violence and crime free villages such as:
- Setting up Citizen Committees
- Sensitization, especially of youth
- Village sports and folk arts festivals
- Having a village song to instil a sense of pride among the people
- Celebrating ‘Village Day’
- Proactive steps for inclusion and integration of socially excluded groups, especially Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Promoting diversified agricultural and allied livelihoods, including livestock and horticulture, through-
- Organic farming
- Soil health cards
- Crop intensification such as SRI
- Setting up of seed banks
- Collection and value addition to Non Timber Forest Produce, Livestock development including Gobar Bank, cattle hostel
- Livestock development including Gobar Bank, cattle hostel
- Agro-service centres
Rural industrialization like:
- Post-harvest technology applications
- Dairy development and processing
- Food processing
- Traditional Industries
Skill Development of all eligible youth for self-employment and placement
Village Tourism including eco-tourism
All the above activities should focus particularly on lifting households out of poverty, for which organising and federating women SHGs, providing employment to all workers, and bringing about financial inclusion are very important.
- Activities for a clean and green village consisting of:
- Providing toilets in each household and in all public institutions and ensuring their proper use
- Appropriate solid and liquid waste management
- Roadside plantations
- Tree plantation in accordance with local preferences in homesteads, schools and public institutions – including green walkways
- Social forestry
- Watershed management especially renovation and revival of traditional water bodies
- Rainwater harvesting- rooftop as well as others
- Reducing local pollution of air, water and land
Basic amenities and services:
- Pucca houses for all houseless poor/poor living in kutcha houses
- Drinking water, preferably treated piped water with household taps
- Internal all weather roads with covered drains
- All weather road connectivity to the main road-network
- Electricity connection to all households and street-lights including from alternative sources of energy, especially solar
- Pucca infrastructure for public institutions- Anganwadis, schools, health institutions, Gram Panchayat Office and libraries
- Civic infrastructure including community halls, buildings for SHG federations, playgrounds and burial grounds/ crematoria
- Village markets
- Infrastructure for PDS outlets
- Micro mini banks /post offices/ATMs
- Broadband connectivity and Common Service Centres
- Telecom connectivity
- CCTVs in public places
- Pensions for all eligible families- old age, disability and widow
- Insurance schemes like Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana
- Health insurance- RSBY
- PDS- universal access to all eligible households
- Strengthening of local democracy through strong and accountable Gram Panchayats and active Gram Sabhas
- E-Governance resulting in better service delivery
- Provision of UIDAI cards to all
- Ensuring regular and punctual attendance of government and panchayat staff
- Time bound service delivery in line with Department’s Citizens Charter
- Holding of Mahila Gram Sabhas before every Gram Sabha
- Holding of a Gram Sabha at least 4 times a year
- Holding of Bal Sabhas every quarter
Proactive disclosure of all information pertaining to the implementation of the programme in the public domain and through wall-writing, notice boards in the local language. This should necessarily include the list of beneficiaries, item-wise budgets and expenditure.
- Gram Panchayat acting as an information facilitation centre
- Timely redressal of grievances filed by people, such that:
- Grievances of all nature to be submitted to the Gram Panchayat / Charge Officer and dated receipt to be given
- Grievances to be redressed within three weeks along with written reply
- Institutionalization of regular open platforms for airing of grievances and their redressal, coordinated by the Gram Panchayat
Half yearly Social Audit of the programme implementation by the Gram Sabha facilitated by the Social Audit Units set up under MGNREGA.
- Increased livelihoods/employment opportunities.
- Reduction in distress migration.
- Freedom from bonded labour, child labour and manual scavenging.
- 100% registration of deaths and births.
- Evolution of alternate dispute resolution system acceptable to all sections of the community.
- Peace and Harmony.
- Demonstration effect on other Gram Panchayats.
- Low Selection of Panchayats:
- So far, only 2,111 gram panchayats have so far been identified under this programme and of that, 1,618 have prepared their development plans.
- A total of 79,316 activities have been planned for these villages, of which 49,756 have been completed.
- Lack of Interest and Funds:
- In many SAGY villages, the MPs did not give any significant funds from MPLADS.
- Lack of Political Will:
- The concept of SAGY has not percolated down to field officials due to lack of accountability and political will.
- Issues with Declaration:
- Even villages declared as Adarsh Grams in some districts were found yet to be Open Defecation Free.
- Limited Impact:
- In some cases, where MPs have been proactive, some infrastructure development has taken place, but the scheme has not made any perceptible impact.
- Low Convergence of MGNREGA with MPLAD:
- Lesser convergence of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) with MPLAD was observed in few villages.
- Rural Roads:
- Concerns have also been raised over the quality of roads constructed under schemes of state governments and maintenance of rural roads under central Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
- The vision behind the evolution of SAGY villages was to create model villages by ensuring convergence and dovetailing of schemes and its proper implementation on priority basis. However, the seriousness required to achieve the motto is lacking. There is a need for MPs to be more responsible towards the scheme.
- SAGY gives focus to community participation and social mobilization of the village community can trigger a chain of other development activities in the village.